Total sales of personal computing devices, which includes PCs, laptops, tablets and workstations, has declined globally, according to analyst firm and box counters, IDC.
The new data comes in the form of IDC's latest Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker report into global shipments of such devices, which claimed that sales declined by 2.7 per cent, year over year, from 2016 to 2017.
That came despite a renewed interest in PCs sparked by AMD's newly competitive line of Ryzen and Threadripper CPUs.
"According to [our] latest forecast, the results illustrate a year in which commercial PC renewal momentum remained as the main catalyst in a market that was also tempered by lackluster demand for legacy form factor devices and component shortages," IDC said in a statement.
Although strangely, IDC's research manager, Jay Chou, said behind this number is a "silver lining", which shows the notebook segment posting its most positive growth since 2012. "A point bolstered by the continued consumer migration to premium and ultra-slim form factors," he added.
Traditional desktop PCs are the main culprit for the decline of the whole personal computing devices market and will be in the coming future, IDC said. The analyst company said desktop PCs are forecast to decline in sales at a compound annual growth rate of -0.9 per cent over the 2017-2022 period. Volumes will drop from 259.4 million in 2017 to 248.3 million in 2022, IDC forecast.
However, when adding in detachable tablets, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro, modest signs of growth are expected over the course of the next five years, but only at about 0.1 per cent.
This year isn't looking much better, either, with a year-over-year decline of 3.2 per cent expected as consumer demand for tablets and legacy PC form factors remain weak, IDC said.
"Commercial device replacements are expected to remain positive throughout the forecast period, though momentum slows after 2020 as mature markets largely end their transition to Windows 10."
Commercial purchasing in emerging markets is expected to help push the market overall in the coming years, IDC claimed, with the overall commercial PC and device market expected to grow by around 0.7 per cent between 2017 to 2022.
"After ending 2017 with modest growth, detachable tablets are also expected to improve in 2018 and 2019 due to ongoing commercial adoption," the firm said.
In the gaming PC sector, meanwhile, which is small but profitable, sales are expected to be affected by the ongoing shortages of graphics cards.
A combination of factors has caused the shortage.
In addition, smartphone makers have also snapped up memory modules as demand for high-end devices remains buoyant. This has caused a shortage of memory modules for graphics cards.
The high cost of graphics cards is therefore putting off gamers and other high-end PC users from upgrading.
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